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Roy Talk


I can't believe how many times Brandon Roy got mentioned during the rundown of most disappointing Blazers.  In 2009 he was the franchise savior.  Now he's an all-time disappointment?  That's [bovine fertilizing material].  Blazer fans have SHORT MEMORIES!

Well, it depends on how you look at it, doesn't it?

Right now, in 2011, Brandon Roy does stand as a disappointment.  You only have to watch him play on those gimpy knees to see it.  His acrobatics used to bring a thrill to the heart.  Now every time he touches the ball it's like a knot in your stomach.  For a guy who, as you put it, was the franchise savior two years ago that's a huge letdown...maybe one of the saddest stories I've encountered with the Blazers outside of Greg Oden and Sam Bowie.  I mean, at least we got to see Brandon play at full strength.  We never did with Sam and we may not with Greg.

As his play declined there have been rumors and quotes of some disgruntlement, perhaps leading fans to put extra mustard on the sausage of disappointment.  Personally I'd be frustrated too, so I don't put much weight on those.  Plus even in the cold, stark void of a lockout when zero other NBA news is going on I can't tell whether Paul Allen effectively ended a speech to the player's union with "U mad, bro?" or stayed silent and didn't even address them.  Therefore I'm not really eager to interpret Roy's responses to what is undoubtedly a complex issue personally and for the team through quotes and snippets.

Let's just say that in the immediate view I completely understand calling Roy's situation disappointing, if not his play.  There's more than enough grounds...and this is without blaming anything but the injuries which appear to have dimmed once-boundless promise.

In the long-term view Roy has to be seen as a bonus to this team, even if a short-lived one.  Forget Rookie of the Year in '06-'07.  What he managed in 2008-09 and 2009-10 was amazing.  Great shooting, potent offense, brilliant games saved...those years alone earned him a place on a short list comprised of Walton, Lucas, Drexler, and 'Sheed (maybe a couple others):  players who could, and consistently did, take over games and bend them to Blazer victories.  This dude was deep-dish brilliant covered with extra cheese.

Go three spaces up or down from Roy's draft position and you'll find Adam Morrison, Tyrus Thomas, Randy Foye, and Patrick O'Bryant.  It wasn't like everybody in the lottery made good in 2006.  For a guy drafted in the 6 or 7 position Roy's early production easily exceeded expectations.

Roy will also be looked upon kindly when the cultural history of the team is examined.  He was THE on-court figure pulling the franchise out of the Jailblazers era.  Roy even made up for Oden's absence after the deafening roar heralding Greg's arrival.  Let's pretend a random franchise went through six years of the worst P.R. hell a pro sports team had ever seen, they they won the Greg Oden lottery as a seeming reward for all the suffering, then Oden goes down and brings back the suffering in a new guise.  Fans would be walking into the ocean with bowling ball galoshes.  Portland fans were able to shrug it off--indeed the fan base grew during that period--because of Brandon Roy.  The honest refrain was, "It's OK.  We'll just be good this year, then great in years to come."  Nobody makes that kind of cultural transition that strongly and quickly.  Most of it was on Roy's shoulders.

Right now, on Monday, October 24th, 2011 Brandon Roy is a Blazer disappointment story.  Two decades from now looking back he'll be considered a blessing.  Memories aren't short.  They just need time to be revealed.

In other words, anger at fans aside, you're right...just not right now.

--Dave (